MOMIX IN ORBIT
Discman; Orbit; Tuu; The Last Vaudevillian; Spawning; Underwater Study #5; White Widow; Millenium Skiva; Table Talk; The Wind-Up; Sputnik; E.C.
Review by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 3, 2002
Originally Published on ExploreDance.com
October 3, 2002, The Joyce Theatre, NYC. Performances of this Program through October 12.
Joyce Theater: www.joyce.org or 212-242-0800
Kudos again to Moses Pendleton, Artistic Director of MOMIX, who, for the second week in a row (Opus Cactus was reviewed last week), has maximized the athletic and energetic potential of all MOMIX dancers, in an amazing array of dance that defies the law of gravity and stretches the physical capabilities of lunges, space, props, and endurance. In MOMIX in Orbit, twelve dances, of varying duration, pulsating, new age music throbs throughout the Joyce Theatre, as we witness an extremely inventive display, by Mr. Pendleton, of mind-bending and body-bending action, accompanied by lighting effects, over-sized props, a huge walking puppet, brightly lit curtains, poles, hoops, balloons, skis, vessels, trapezes, tables, and shadows.
Just when I thought Mr. Pendleton had used every amazing idea and technique to stretch my imagination, regarding the defiance of gravity and space, in Opus Cactus, he fully engaged me in this non-stop series of percussive and persuasive performances, which, I honestly believe, only the cast of MOMIX could accomplish, so effectively. In Discman, a larger than enormous puppet, created by Michael Curry, and lit by Joshua Starbuck, appears first in the Program, and slowly walks and bends and entertains us, luring us into a sleepless trance. Orbit, a solo piece performed by Nicole Loizedes, employs a silver hoop, which enjoys a very active life of its own, surrounding and swirling about Ms. Loizides, for what seems to be endless time, caught in space, to music from "Feed Your Head". To our surprise, this hoop twirls into space off stage on its own.
The body as art, profiled against brightly lit backdrops, like a Kaleidoscope, especially limbs and heads, figured prominently in many pieces, such as in Tuu and in E.C. In the latter, the curtains reveal solo and duo body art, in shadow relief, as hands and heads and fingers become falling babies, mothers, spiders, and a sensual sunflower. Mr. Pendleton is accomplished as a gardener of sunflowers, as a filmmaker, as a video producer, and as a photographer. His background is obvious in his creative skills in choreographic production and design of lighting and sets.
In Millenium Skiva, a couple face each other in silver ski costumes, and lean forward to the stage floor in leaps of faith and fortitude, defying gravity, once again, in fantastic body design and daring strength. One must sit breathless, waiting to discover if the dancers will fall on their mate or on the floor, as the skis serve as anchors and weights to hold the feet in place. In Spawning, three enormous balloons become props and dancers, as they cuddle the performers and bounce through space, as does the smaller, space-like ball in The Wind-Up. In the latter, Cynthia Quinn appears as a new-age sorcerer or nymph, who dances against a darkly lit stage with her ultraviolet-like, silver ball.
In Sputnik (Fellow Traveler), one female performer squats on a large bowl, as the male performers cast large spears into her vessel. With music from "Indus" and "Spirit Chaser", she spins the couples on their spears into a whirl of centrifugal force, again defying gravity, and suspending the performers in this erotically charged piece. As a humorous interlude, The Last Vaudevillian, a human/puppet, larger than life, old vaudevillian, sings a traditional Kletzmer tune, bouncing his head and limbs against the stark stage, in a most unusual and upbeat choreographic creation.
My favorite piece was White Widow, superbly performed by Cynthia Quinn, in which she swings on a trapeze in toe shoes and a beautiful dress, to music from "The World Spins". The trapeze figured prominently in the Opus Cactus Program, and is a perfect prop for Mr. Pendleton's imagination and expertise. I highly recommend purchasing a ticket or two for at least one of the remaining performances of MOMIX in Orbit and/or Opus Cactus at the Joyce Theatre, prior to their last performance on October 13.
Photos courtesy of Momix